Custom Honda Z50 Build & Garage Happenings

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by pancholasvegas, Jul 2, 2020.

  1. pancholasvegas

    pancholasvegas Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2017
    Oddometer:
    40
    Location:
    Iowa
    Good evening,

    After viewing some of the wonderful builds and pretty much finding a new build thread to binge through daily, I've finally decided to actually document one of my own personal builds. Sometimes I'm really good at getting lots of photos of builds, sometimes we're in such a rush that we don't get to document process well.

    While I lack much of the skill that most on this site possess, I hope to start this thread to document and share a custom build that I've had in my head for quite some time, as well as showcase some of the other fun happenings and projects that we've got going on in the garage, of which there are many. I hope to share and entertain those following along, as well as receive advise from those wiser than me on this site.

    The Plan:
    -
    Take an early Honda Z50 Hardtail & create a really cool custom for going up & down the neighborhood, car shows, etc. I plan to lower the bike, throw in a crate motor, new paint job (I'm thinking candy root beer), custom bars & custom exhaust. Why? Why not. I have multiple mini-Hondas from stock restoration, to all original, to somewhat custom & this is a build I've been plotting for a while now.

    Starting Off: I was able to secure some of the essential bits to get this process started from a man that I met via Facebook marketplace that a friend purchased a Honda Mini from 2 years ago. Upon going with my friend to go pick up the early 80's Honda Z50 that he purchased from Matt (Seller), Matt informed me that he had amassed a collection of early Z50 hardtails & had been hanging on to them for years. He told me to get in touch if I ever needed parts or anything. Not looking for anymore projects at that time, I didn't think much of it. Though I did purchase an entire box of NOS Honda ATC leather gas tank covers from him, that I later sold for a hefty profit. Fast forward to several weeks ago & the urge to get this project started caused me to reach out to Matt & inquire if he could throw together a box of parts to get this bike started. Ended up linking up with him the following day & bringing home a pile of parts that I'm sure I paid too much for. Alas - I had what I needed to get started.

    Honda Parts.jpg

    While it doesn't look like much, because it isn't, it was enough to get me moving & get some needed motivation to get this project underway. When I met with Matt, I was at the tail end of another Z50 build, so the thought of moving forward to get going on this bike provided some extra drive to finish up the existing bike.

    Here's a quick pic of the most recent Z50 build at the tail end of completion. (All the final steps that I need to complete can be achieved with it & myself in the back of the truck). For the purists - This is not a factory restoration. This bike was built with some spare parts & some mild customization in order to mirror the truck that it is shown in. Red Z50 .jpg

    Getting home from work today & the fiancee' out of town allowed for some garage time with myself, the dog & some cheap cigars.

    After a bit of futzing, i loosely threw together the parts that I had to get some eyeball measurements on what needed to be done to lower the bike. Z50 Roller.jpg

    There we have it, a loosely thrown together hardtail & some wheels. Knowing that I plan to remove the rear axle plates & mount them higher to drop the bike, I thought that it would be helpful to have an engine in the frame to make sure that I don't screw anything up in terms of sprocket alignment. I feel like we are still a ways off from needing to get the final motor for the bike, so I had to get a motor out of a different bike to mock everything up. Fortunately I had an extra engine laying around. Unfortunately it was mounted in my basket-case neighborhood beer cruiser that I had thrown together a bit ago. No love lost, I've robbed parts off of it before, so it knows that it will move under its own power again someday, as it always ends up doing through one bodge job or another.

    Donor .jpg

    Fun story about this bike - I actually purchased it from a gentleman for around $25 a couple years ago. Friends & I had rebuilt the entire motor & it ran like a top, that motor is now in the red bike shown above. The whole point in this bike was to have a cruiser and run around the neighborhood for as absolutely cheap as possible, the engine rebuild being the only real expense. The rest of it was built as cheaply as possible, using basically all spare parts that I have in the shop from previous builds. The motor that was most recently in the frame is actually an SL70 motor that came in the red bike shown above when I bought it, essentially playing musical motors.

    Easy enough to pull that engine assembly out & throw it in the "Roller," to check how sprockets & chain alignment will work when moving the axle plates on the hardtail. RollerMotor.jpg

    At this point, I realized that it would be best to actually measure everything if the wheels & necessary spacers were installed correctly. A short call to CHP & I now have new front/rear axles and spacers on the way so that we can be somewhat accurate when getting everything figured out.

    It was fortunate timing that we were about done for the day, as I received the call that my father's golf cart had a flat tire, and he needed some help pulling it off. (Golf Cart in question below, we had built this several years ago. If I recall correctly, it is a 70's Harley Davidson AMF. cart.jpeg

    Tomorrow, I plan to get back to the garage and see what exhaust parts that I have sitting around to aid in measuring the exhaust system that I plan to cobble together for the Hardtail. My ultimate plan is to to have a low pipe, with a fishtail muffler. Fortunately, I believe that I have a pitbike/horizontal honda clone exhaust pipe that is a low mount that I can cut up & fabricate to achieve what I have in mind. That's why I try not to throw old parts away, you never know what you might need!

    I hope that everyone finds this interesting and if anyone has any commentary or advice, I would love to hear it from those more experienced than myself. This should be a fun build.

    Attached Files:

    #1
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  2. Lewilewi

    Lewilewi Ride it like you stole it......

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2017
    Oddometer:
    3,074
    Location:
    Europe
    Love it .....keep us posted with pics and up dates
    #2
  3. pancholasvegas

    pancholasvegas Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2017
    Oddometer:
    40
    Location:
    Iowa
    I was able to back out to the garage and cobble together a bit of progress yet this morning.

    I thought that I had a spare low-pipe exhaust for a Honda Horizontal style engine sitting around that would serve as the base of the custom exhaust I plan to piece together, and I was right! z50 exhaust.jpg
    Looks kinda rough, but at least we can use the header pipe and hack off the rear section and start with something! I threw it in the motor, sans gasket just for a test look & feel. This will also be a determining factor in how low we can go with this bike, so as not to drag the pipe. Threw it on and I think I'm gonna be happy with using this pipe as a base to start. exhaust mounted.jpg

    While installing the exhaust, I did notice one little hiccup on the frame. Looks like someone dumped it good at some point in its long life, steering stop is very bent out. steering stem.jpg

    This should be an easy remedy, we'll tackle that at the same time we cut & weld the axle plates on the frame.

    Looking through my box of spares, I was fortunate enough to locate a set of handle bars & a handlebar clamp for this bike! I loosely threw them on to get some some visualization to help with the game plan. I would like to extend these and make some apes out of them. My plan is to cut above where they go into the handlebar clamp and the weld in some additional pipe before the bend. The only concern I have with bigger bars is finding brake & throttle cables to fit and operate correctly, I'm considering utilizing CT70 control cables and only lengthening the bars as far as those will allow. Unless someone wiser than me has a suggestion?

    At this point, there's not much to do other than wait for the axles and spacers from CHP. I did order a headlight bucket from Ebay this morning, at quite a hefty sum, but they're pretty difficult to find, and I spoke with the team at CHP and they are unsure if they'll ever have reproductions for sale again. I'm a pretty anxious person, so I pulled the trigger on a bucket from Ebay because I did lose a bit of sleep last night over whether or not I'd have the opportunity to find one for sale at a halfway reasonable price again.

    This is where we ended up today. Bars .jpg
    #3
  4. Wildebeest90210

    Wildebeest90210 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
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    4,164
    :lurk
    #4
  5. pancholasvegas

    pancholasvegas Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2017
    Oddometer:
    40
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    Well the productivity didn’t end at that today. While I didn’t get anymore work on the little bike, I still had plenty to take care of around the garage. Forgot that tomorrow was the 4th, so figured today was my best chance to run last weekends derby car up to the wrecking yard and at least get some money to help fund this project. 3255EFF8-009E-40C1-BA81-50214CDF70B6.jpeg
    There’s a local car show tomorrow, so then proceeded to clean up the truck for showing, along with the most recent minibike build to accompany.
    FCC11F3A-06CE-449C-B713-8B8A3BF9E57D.jpeg
    EDED1F72-1576-4EF1-B220-93B6F624C982.jpeg

    I think that MIGHT wrap up the productivity for the day, but there’s still daylight left so who knows.

    Attached Files:

    #5
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  6. Fast Idle

    Fast Idle Since the Sixties Supporter

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    Oddometer:
    3,505
    Location:
    The Great Land
    Love the Z50 and Econoline!!! Beautiful paint!
    I've always loved Chevelle's and owned several. So please post some pics.:-)
    #6
    ArdenLoneWolf likes this.
  7. pancholasvegas

    pancholasvegas Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2017
    Oddometer:
    40
    Location:
    Iowa
    Ask and you shall receive! 1CCCD147-3FA9-4EC9-B7E9-F0D2F21B8AC8.jpeg Here it is with my RD350 that I stupidly sold. Note - the badge on the side may say 350, but that’s not what’s really going on.
    7930799F-7022-4710-9A52-733171620149.jpeg
    #7
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  8. Fast Idle

    Fast Idle Since the Sixties Supporter

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    Nice! Great picture there with the RD too. My kind of toys. :super
    #8
  9. pancholasvegas

    pancholasvegas Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2017
    Oddometer:
    40
    Location:
    Iowa
    Thank you. I miss the RD dearly, but it had to go to help pay for the Chevelle. Fortunately, it's over in Sweden with a new owner who is thrilled to death with it.
    #9
    Fast Idle likes this.
  10. pancholasvegas

    pancholasvegas Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2017
    Oddometer:
    40
    Location:
    Iowa
    In other news - Has anyone ever ordered parts from Webike Japan? I rolled the dice and just ordered a replacement gas tank from them, even with expedited shipping from Japan, still cheaper than any examples I could find around that were in decent shape. This one is a brand new replica so fingers crossed everything works out. I think that will be the last "bigger," expense for this project until we get to paint & powdercoating. Or so I hope.
    #10
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  11. Franque

    Franque Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Oddometer:
    454
    Location:
    Dallas, Tx -> Aubagne, France
    I've gotten stuff from webike (UK) before, they're reliable.
    #11
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  12. pancholasvegas

    pancholasvegas Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2017
    Oddometer:
    40
    Location:
    Iowa
    Hope that everyone had a safe holiday.

    Ended up heading up to Torque Fest in Dubuque yesterday morning to check that out. Sweet car show with some badass choppers and some really nice cars. There was an Econoline up there with a jawdropping paint job. CE05FF4D-5343-47F9-916F-81542CC6D801.jpeg
    Dad ended up taking the econoline to a semi-local car show with the minibike yesterday and was able to pick up a little something, too!
    E6ADF076-2BCB-4AB9-8634-03EBBE8A7A59.jpeg

    No parts yet to continue moving forward, but there’s always something to work on in the garage around here.

    Ended up having a couple buddies over last night for some beers and to help get the truck for next weekends trailer race ready. We were able to gut out to the truck last week and make the necessary modifications to run, so paint was the last step. Race is next Saturday , all that’s really left is to secure the battery once we pull it off the charger. We didn’t do so hot in the derby last a couple weeks back, so hoping we can make up for it this weekend. For those that don’t know, if you ever come across an F-150 that has 2 gas tanks, and you think like you should remove the rear tank for any reason, do some research first, like I should have. Turns out they operate as a circuit and simply removing the rear tank isn’t that easy. You’ll just end up spewing gas all over the garage if you don’t plug or reroute the lines together. Learned that lesson the hard way. AC6B9D17-A276-407C-B1F8-E3D3FD309438.jpeg

    Sitting around today, not feeling so hot these past couple days. Hoping I get the new axles and spacers for the Z50 in the mail tomorrow so we can get that mocked up and start figuring out how we’re gonna slam this thing. Slightly concerned with fender mounting and fit, but don’t really want to order fenders so yet so I think I’ll just be crossing my fingers that it’s not that big of a hassle.
    #12
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  13. pancholasvegas

    pancholasvegas Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2017
    Oddometer:
    40
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    Iowa
    Well continuing the work that needed to be done today... went to go and install the ball on the trailer race truck and make sure everything’s good to go and decided to take a better look at the bumper pull set up. Pulled the plastic and wasn’t happy with what was underneath. 470B120B-8F17-4ACA-A993-C415214F809A.jpeg
    Well with limited time and limited options, went over to the sheet metal pile to see what we can come up with... a little measuring and some time with the metal brake and here we go. E5145C37-FDC2-4E53-90AD-D10C8C5D03C3.jpeg

    a bit of time with the hot glue gun and I think we can be safe to say this bumper is not gonna come off. 1783F36D-5987-4C78-B639-63E2D87463E3.jpeg B9988EF6-48D5-4918-A95A-E57585BCE388.jpeg
    Everything even fits well enough to get the tailgate back on. Now let’s see if it passes tech inspection.
    #13
  14. pancholasvegas

    pancholasvegas Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2017
    Oddometer:
    40
    Location:
    Iowa
    Well got the mail today and the spacer I needed along with new axles and nuts were in the mail. 92B6AE1C-878A-41CC-BEA4-2A50C510E7B6.jpeg Front went in without a hitch for mockup, sans one washer.

    Maybe it’s cause I’ve not been feeling well, but somethings off on the rear. I believe it to be because I need a washer and chain adjusters, but I’m not certain and will need to review against some photos and probably throw some adjusters on to be sure. 8AD6C377-0A29-4F89-BE75-7502A2008A8A.jpeg Will have to dig through the stash of parts to see I’ve got some adjusters I can use up and verify that’s the case.
    #14
  15. pancholasvegas

    pancholasvegas Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2017
    Oddometer:
    40
    Location:
    Iowa
    Alright. Well after consulting with a buddy of mine who is much wiser than myself, I realized I had the axles backwards. Once we get those flipped around, and get our chain adjusters on, we’ll be good to go. That pleases me, so for mock up I’ll use a set of washers to fill in where the adjusters would be.

    Still having some free time in the evening, turned some attention to another project we’ve been working on.

    Dad got this old trailer a bit ago with plans to jazz it up for some shop decor. F39D0EE5-03F9-4E1F-98C6-D42639813D26.jpeg
    802ABF5A-207A-43E0-803E-FE3ECF030542.jpeg 055DDD35-9C5E-45B8-8076-176E50B8EE3C.jpeg

    We’ve been working on it as time allows, and it’s really starting to take shape now. Just the shelving left to install.
    D0287ED9-8D26-46B1-ADF4-FA953D12AE74.jpeg Just a couple steps away from being useful for storage!

    Attached Files:

    #15
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  16. pancholasvegas

    pancholasvegas Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2017
    Oddometer:
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    Got an excellent surprise today!
    B2EAD9BE-6805-429E-ACBE-2A4583CE3CEE.jpeg

    I did pay for the quicker shipping from WeBike, but I certainly didn’t expect it to be this fast!
    1B7DDAE9-61D8-42CF-8EB0-A2E23EAC13D5.jpeg
    Tank is here! Must have been meant to be because it was miraculously the LAST one they had for sale on WeBike and I can’t find any for sale anywhere else for a reasonable price. Has some small flaws but nothing that some minor attention won’t fix. Even came with a petcock and gas cap, no complaints here.

    Plan on getting back to the garage in the next few days to get some air in the tires and mess get final mockup done for some measurements for the lowering.

    Attached Files:

    #16
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  17. Fast Idle

    Fast Idle Since the Sixties Supporter

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    I too have been wondering about ordering from Webike. What carrier delivered it? DHL?
    #17
  18. pancholasvegas

    pancholasvegas Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2017
    Oddometer:
    40
    Location:
    Iowa
    Yes, I chose the expedited shipping offered through DHL on WeBike. It was only around $40 or so USD I believe. To be honest I’m shocked that it’s already here. Really happy with how it turned out and I’m sure I’ll be ordering more through them again, I like a lot of the stuff they have for the mini bikes.
    #18
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  19. pancholasvegas

    pancholasvegas Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2017
    Oddometer:
    40
    Location:
    Iowa
    Not a lot of updates for the minibike just yet. Been finishing up a couple smaller projects before I can buckle up and get going again. Got the shelf all finished up yesterday and even mounted an LED light in the top.
    D01C9964-4880-46F2-BB63-C75372F76039.jpeg

    Today’s garage time was spent helping my uncle pick his T-Bucket up from the upholstery shop. That’s just about finished, too. Last step is getting the windshield assembly put together and bleeding the brakes for a final time. Hope to spend some time on the z50 this weekend and get everything ready to cut up. 4EB537EA-6E50-433F-99DC-4560D1797946.jpeg

    Attached Files:

    #19
  20. scot_douglas

    scot_douglas Dirt Harley Lovin' Supporter

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    you use the leftover T-bucket paint in your shop? :D
    #20